Agents, now more than ever, are looking for technological solutions to help future-proof businesses, seek new revenue streams and gain a competitive advantage. When it comes to compliance, why should this be any different?
With recent fines levied against estate agents of up to £215,000, AML compliance is once again at the forefront of agents’ minds. Important amendments to the 4th AML Directive are coming into force by July 2020 with the 5th AMLD. The Government is now demanding a risk-based approach to managing AML, with fines and even prison terms the penalty for less stringent or negligent companies.
“Money laundering regulation has become an increased burden on agents over the past few years,” says Ben, “The 5th AMLD is only set to increase that further.”
So many agents we speak to are still just collecting ID and proof of address. Does this help you identify a person or just prove to HMRC that your photocopier works?
Landmark Estate Agency Services has spent nearly a decade working to provide dynamic electronic solutions to estate agents. When it comes to compliance, our products are centred around innovative technology, ensuring we provide estate agents with practical solutions to take the headache away.
Money laundering regulation has become an increased burden on agents over the past few years, the 5th AMLD is only set to increase that further.
“Added to the administrative burden is the risk posed by getting it wrong,” Ben adds. “After all, you want your staff doing what they do best- selling property. This is a great opportunity for estate agents to become more efficient. Outsource the work you don’t want to experts and reduce the time it takes to get that house on the market.”
These are the big takeaways that you as an agent really should be on top of:
- Every business must have a nominated officer and a deputy to cover in case of absence. Whether you have a compliance officer will depend on the size and nature of your business and complexity of your services.
- You must have a Money Laundering Policy in place www.thenegotiator
- Identify beneficial owners
- Have a process in place to identify and differentiate between high- and low-risk individuals/transactions
- You need to identify PEPS and sanctions
- Submit a Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) to the National Crime Agency (NCA) where there is suspicion of money laundering
- Fully auditable process going back 5 years
- Conduct regular staff training
- Carry out regular audits and process reviews
What do you need to do?
You need to accept that the increasing burden is not going away and implement a process that consistently ticks those above boxes. This can be managed internally. However, increasingly, estate agents are outsourcing where possible, allowing their teams to get back to income generation. By going one step further and taking a positive approach to compliance with the right partners, you can even gain a commercial advantage.
How can we help?
Landmark’s aim is to make our clients more successful, and Compliance in a Box is the complete solution to your compliance headache, already used by over 1000 agents.
Because we understand no two agencies are the same, we offer a series of fully tailored services. Choose from DIY checks to fully outsourced packs that include ID checks, staff training, example policies, one central system for simple auditing and ongoing support from dedicated experts. Let us handle your compliance headache while you get back to being brilliant agents. If you would like to find out more about how our solution can not only help you comply but also accelerate your business success, contact us today.